Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recipe for a 5k PR.

A couple of weeks ago my co-worker & friend Miranda heads-me-up-ed about a local  run/walk 5k to support  cancer fighters, survivors and their families! I was super psyched to have another race on the schedule and began to immediately plan for a major PR.  This would be my 4th ever 5k and I was itching to get a sub-30 finish. In my planning, I forgot to consult my schedule.....anyways- I give you a recipe for a PR. 

1. Bonfire the night before the race. The key to speedy running is bonfire-hair. The smell will keep you going  and your fellow racers will lay on the compliments. "Yes, my shampoo is a spin off of the regular apple-wood scent." 
2. Work a midnight shift proceeding the race. I promise you will finish faster if you have been up for at least 16 hours and are just slightly frazzled from work. 

3. Drink an entire pot of coffee. 
(My officers typically save me from inhaling the entire pot by myself, but tonight it was just me in the office and I went to town.)

4. Drag your sister out of bed 32 minutes before the race begins and trick her into running with you by promising her a hazelnut latte post-finish. 
5. Take random pictures of your pre-race faces while hiding from the wind chill in your car.

6. Wear pink. Grey is optional, but pink is absolutely necessary. End of Story. 

7. Stand in some pretty hard-core wind for 5-10 minutes before the race begins. When all 10 of your toes are frozen, it's time to begin running. 

8. Don't take any pictures during the race, post race or happy face. Actually, I wouldn't recommend #8. I am majorly kicking myself that I didn't take pictures to document my success. Bahh......

Anyway-- the race was great! It was super small- no bibs, time recorded or places awarded. No pressure, just a great cause and fantastic way to support your community. I was super sleepy during registration and had a really hard time getting my head in the game. I worked hard to get psyched up and by start time I was ready to rock. 
The runner/walker ratio was pretty lopsided, and there was just a handful of runners. I started out in the head of the pack and expected to get passed like crazy, but I held my own. I felt fantastic the entire race. I didn't check my pace once during the race, just focused on staying strong and feeling awesome despite feeling like the only thing I was capable of was falling asleep mid-stride. 
As I came in towards the finish, I really had no idea what time to expect. I knew I was running really good splits, but I didn't have any idea what my pace was.
My finish time was 28:27!!! My previous 5k PR was 30:31-- I got a two minute PR!!  
A sub-30 5k finish has been my goal all year and at each of my 5ks it eluded me- a cramped-up-nausea-laden-fist-ever-5k in May, too much heat in July and running with a friend in August

I ended up finishing #6 overall (I told you it was a small race!!), 4th woman AND I beat my sister.
 (First and only time that will ever happen!! She dinged up her knee in a bike wreck last week, so she's taking it easy to ensure proper healing.) (I put this sentence in parentheses simply so it wouldn't feel left out in this paragraph. I'm thoughtful to words like that.) 

What's your recipe for a PR?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Debate!

Pumpkin is definitely in my top 5 favorite flavors. I'm unashamedly enamored with it.
This week I was finally in the same zip code as a Starbucks so I had to try their pumpkin spice latte. This girl can't get enough of them, but  This girl  thought is was disgusting. Hmmmm.......

My initial response was definitely not positive. I took a couple sips and was wildly disappointed. I let it sit for a few minutes while I ran some errands (read; bought some more boots.) but when I came back all of the sudden I couldn't get enough of it. The bottom of that tall came wayyy too fast and I seriously contemplated ducking through the drive through for another one on the way out of town. 
I'm not sure if the extra sitting time helped the flavors meld together a bit or maybe spending a third of my paycheck on shoes put my tastebuds in jeopardy?

Do you give the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte a thumbs up or a thumbs down?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

1. Midnight shifts are a Pinterest addict's best friend. I can't speak from experience, but I do a fair amount of pinning. I appreciate the multitude of recipes and have found some absolutely perfect concoctions!
2. I am definitely in an apple mood! My friend Natalie and I made some super tasty apple pie filling a couple of weeks ago and I have used it in everything but pie. :) It's great in oatmeal! When we made it we used more spices and less sugar so it's almost exclusively just appley goodness and not too sweet. 

3. I was happy to introduce my nephew and niece to a new passion- K-State football. They watched nearly the entire game with me on Saturday night. Neither of their parents are even remotely interested in sports of any nature, so I've taken complete responsibility for instilling a deeply rooted love for K-State athletics in them. 

4. Yesterday we celebrated my brother's 16th birthday. He's quite the cute little jokester. While we were eating his birthday supper he remarked "You know, I was just thinking today that I haven't had a birthday in a whole year!" :) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pedal Time.

Justice is an expert at riding bikes so we loaded up the bikes and went to try out some trails at a local park. It was a perfect day- overcast and breezy but still warm! 

Justice was extremely proud of this picture that he took on my phone. "I should totally get a phone because the pictures I take are like basically perfect."

Biking Buddy!

You can tell they are related- same silly cheesy grin! Despite the fact that they don't look particularly tickled, we did have an awesome time! 

As soon as he spied this puddle, he was begging to ride through it. I initially told him no, but finally relented providing that he took a shower when we got home. He debated if it was worth it for a few minutes, but it lured him in. On his first pass through he went slowly and didn't get dirty at all. His second try he was more successful. :)

The park is really nice, with well maintained trails and several bridges and waterways and lots of shade. I'd definitely come here to run-- I think the full loop is somewhere south of 3 miles, but it's pretty enough it'd be fun to run twice. This is a huge compliment coming from me- I  am not fond running the same route everyday at all. One part of the path does go underneath an overpass and there were blankets and clothes and evidence of some homeless people living there, although no one was there while we were there. This does make me a bit uneasy, so I'd definitely proceed with caution- safety first! Take a running buddy or your dog. But if you are in the Parsons, KS area, check it out! 

I'm loving this one-on-one time with them and glad that my sister & her husband have a chance to get away and have time together alone. Family is the best! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rainy Day Cookies.

I am spending the weekend babysitting my fantastic niece and nephew while their parents are away on an anniversary trip. 9 years of marriage- and still head over heels in love. Marriage is hard work, but it is worth it.
Justice is 6 and Felicity is 2. I'm still recovering from the fact that my sister had the audacity to name her daughter the name that I picked out when I was about 12 years old to name my oldest daughter. Ahem. It's a good thing I don't hold grudges, right Rebecca??

This morning while we were reading books, we had the exceptional idea to make some cookies, so Justice began hap-hazardly pulling ingredients out of cupboards and off of shelves. "oh, this is good in cookies, and this tastes pretty good. oh, not this, let's hide this so Mom doesn't ever find this (stuffs a bag of rice into the freezer)" I pretty much let them choose what they thought would taste good in a cookie, with minimal guiding and persuasion. Okay, I might have just put the chili powder shaker back in the counter while Justice was distracted, but I was doing him a favor! :) He was convinced the chili powder was "that cinna-minty stuff Mom put in her cookies". I also placed an executive vote to add the 'shredded paper'. Apparently Justice is not terribly fond of coconut.

The recipe is as follows;
1/4 cup pb
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp molasses
3  large bananas, mashed
3 cups oats
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup craisins
Stir together the first 5 ingredients until smooth. Add the oats, salt and baking powder and stir until dough forms. Add the craisins, raisins and coconut. Place medium size balls of dough on greased cookie sheet. bake @ 350 for 10 minutes. Make 24 cookies. (53 calories each)

Those are all very loose measurements, these were definitely 'dump, stir, add a little more' cookies. :)

Justice was extremely concerned at the absence of sugar in these cookies. I promised him they would be SO delicious that he would not even know there was no sugar in them. He was extremely skeptical and we had a good long talk about the different ingredients we were using and how they were good for us and help our bodies be healthy. "Oh, you are a healthy Aunt." Yes, Justice, I am your healthy Aunt.:)

 After I set the timer, Justice struck this pose and did not leave that spot until the timer rang. He gave me very regular update "oh goodness, this time stand still, like basically. I mean, still 7 minutes left. that's basically just as long at 8 minutes, so we still have to wait at least half of forever."

"Healthy Aunts" make sugar free cookies for you and then let you drink their coffee. :) 

I love spending time with my family and it's exciting to me to help teach them about taking good care of their bodies when they are young. Being healthy is a deliberate choice and if you raise your kids to be healthy from the start, you save them for blood sugar crashes, sugar cravings, skin problems etc... Now, obviously, making cookies without sugar is not going to make them healthy, but it's an excellent way to show them that life is still fun and full and exciting AND good for you.

While we made the dough, I was explaining to Justice that bananas were high in potassium, which is really good for our eyesight. While I was typing this post he came up to me and said "oh my, my eyes are watering. I'm pretty sure they just need a cookie. Or maybe two. One for each eye to  be healthy?" :)

What do you do to share your health/fitness lifestyle/priorities with those around you?

What is your favorite thing to bake with children??

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Totally Talkable Thursday.

1. Fall.........almost here. This means unlimited happiness; pumpkins, football, deer hunting, chilly morning runs, bon fires, Holidays, so much awesomeness!

2. Is there anything greater than being an Aunt?? The plan is to spoil these two cutesters this weekend while their parents get in an anniversary get-away.
3. Popcorn jellybeans. I know we already talked about these, but seriously?? Best. jellybean. ever.

4. The left ankle is definitely feeling a little weird today. Today's a cross training day before I have a long run on tap for tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Run with your homies.

For the past 8 months my younger brothers have been some of my biggest cheerleaders as I began running. They honk when the drive past me on the road, make impressed faces when I talk about pacing and negative splits and upcoming races and tell all of their friends and co workers about their two sisters that run. The complete strangers who have approached me and said "so, marathon training- how goes it?"; are thanks to them. :)
 The other nights we were just chilling out after they got off work and while I prepared for a night shift. My sister and I got a wild hair to run a couple miles before dark and on a whim, my brothers decided to join us!! They are extremely athletic and can play any sport there is, but neither of them are runners........so they think!!

Just some crazies out for a run!

Sprinting!! Moses is a total speedster when it comes to the sprint! He's hands down the fastest in the short run.
We kept it short- just two quick miles. It was no contest keeping up with those boys- they left us in the dust!!! :) We all finished under 19 minutes, with Moses 'winning' with a time of 14.26.

Our family is incredibly close and we have always made it top priority to keep our relationships strong. As my siblings have become adults, our relationships have become stronger than ever! I am blessed to count my siblings as some of my best friends!! I'm the oldest, followed immediately by Tabitha 19 months younger. Moses (on the right) is 17, and Micah (in the back) is almost 16. Yes, I have incredibly attractive siblings, they got the height and cute genes in the family. You are welcome for posting the pictures. :)
That is just a mini-view of my family..........I have a total of 6 sisters and 5 brothers.........you do the math! :)

Of course the debate here was the correct way to stand in order to make your legs look runner-like impressive.......

..............Tabitha obviously won.

Gun show!!!

I absolutely refuse to let an entire photo shoot go by without bombing at least one. :)

Tabitha and I obviously have a great deal of room to improve when it comes to the 'funny face' shot. I obviously need to take notes from Micah- he nailed it.

I love these 3!!

Do you run with your family members??

Homeschooling and the things I don't miss!!

I was blessed to be homeschooled K-12 and it was an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. My parents made an unbelievable sacrifice to homeschool me and my siblings and I could not be more grateful!!
I was one of those kids who got geeked out excited about school, thought pencils were the best birthday gift ever and color-coded all my daily planner schedules. Blue- math, green- science, orange- health, pink- writing.....etc.... This year I have been especially nostalgic about my school days and wishing that they weren't over. I miss school. Or maybe I just miss the simplicity of life when the biggest question of the day was x -3 + 8 =  ____ instead of;  "wow, is this mortgage jacked or what???"

This morning I got in an 4.5 mile run with my friend Natalie. We had a killer head wind, but we had really good times regardless!!  
After my run my Mom called me and asked me to pick up something for her at the meat locker.  Eyeballs? I was assuming that was static on the cell phone. Hmmm... when the owner of the meat locker sees you and says "oh, thank you for getting here so quickly, I didn't want these sitting in my fridge any longer!!!" --- RUN. RUN FAST!

yes those are eyeballs.
Just another day in school- dissecting eyeballs. Neat-o.
Maybe I don't miss school anymore..........gone are the days of dissecting!! Yay!!! :)

Did your teacher allow you to create your own trashcan?? Silas (read- youngest sibling- almost 8!) was tickled to show me this trashcan that he created all by himself and keeps right next to his desk. "It's for my pencil shavings, or gum, or like anything I want to throw away, except my spelling paper because Mom said I couldn't throw that out. I empty it into the real trashcan every night. So it's not like, "technically" a real trashcan, but it's mostly real. Isn't yellow a good color for it too?" Those are his words- could he be any cuter!!!

Extra tickle time with Silas while we work through the trials of 'take-aways'?? I'm all over it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

one fine day.

Any day that starts without the annoyingness we know as an alarm clock is a good day in my book! If only my internal alarm clock wasn't so attracted to 6:30am. :)

Had a fabulous workout this morning before I was fully awake. Whew! Nothing like sweat dripping into your eyes to really get you awake!

Meet Sue! Sue is a friend of mine and I do home care for on occasion when her full time care-giver is not available. If she is having a good day, we like to take trips and go on adventures together!! It takes a special person to put up with my random singing habits, crazy photo taking obsession but Sue just puts up with me no matter what. :)  

Today she was feeling good enough to make a trip to Kansas City for some shopping. It was a perfect day for shopping- cool and sunny and the stores were deserted! Perfect! I love shopping but I won't even go into a crowded store.  
Who knows what dorky pose I was trying to strike. Cute dress, no?? TJ Maxx will hook you up! It was dreadfully cute, but not in budget. I may or may not have just stayed in the dressing room for an extra ten minutes just enjoying wearing it. "yes, dear sweet dressing room attendant, I am still alive and breathing". :)

Sue's favorite place to eat is Chipotle, so we usually eat lunch there. I have yet to stray from my favorite-- Burrito Bowl with barboca, black beans, corn, mild salsa, fajita and guac! Yummy!

When it comes to shopping are you a Spendy Sandra or a Stingy Sarah??

Monday, September 3, 2012


We all need a good 3 day week end sometime. One day for fun, one for family and one to do absolutely nothing. :)

Saturday was our fun day. We started the day bright and early with a local 5k. Last year they had a huge turnout and a whole swarm of runners, but it was significantly smaller this year. The atmosphere wasn't as exuberant and exciting, but not nearly as intimidating either!!

My running buddy Natalie ran this with me and the girl made it look like a piece of cake!!
Me & Natalie. See the snazzy shirts that came with registration??

Tabitha, Natalie & I.
My sister had a great race! We ran a 5k with an almost identical route in May and she had some leg/cramping issues and I ended up catching up with her and finishing together. She pulled away from me right at the start of the race and I was tickled to not see her again until the finish!! Yay!! She despises running on cement, but manages to clean house regardless. She came in 4th woman and 8th over all. :)

The little dude in the neon shirt came in 4th place over all with a time of 20:15. (I'm preeeety sure that was his result, don't quote me.) The little speedster told me the key to winning was neon running gear. Duly noted son, duly noted.

There wasn't a whole lot of time in the schedule between the run and a retirement party for our dear friend Karen! Karen has been known affectionately as our 'Library lady' for 25 years and is newly retired. Our small town Library has always been a step above the rest thanks to her hard work and dedication! We will miss her!  

Saturday night we got in some more great girl time with Grace! She took us to Old Market in downtown Omaha. If you saw three girls walking around laughing uncontrollably and tripping on bricks, that was us.
sunset, smiles & sunroof hair.

I accept gifts in all shapes and sizes; but I reccommend popcorn flavored jelly beans. Growing up my Grandma had a chicken feeder full of jelly beans on her kitchen counter. She always scolded us when we picked through them to get our favorite flavors, but she never made us stop. Looking back, I'm pretty sure her favorite flavor was popcorn too........the poor sweet lady never got any after we visited!
Tabitha and I must be related. 9 times out of 10 we make the same face for pictures.

After church on Sunday 3 of my brothers got together with friends for some football. I'm not about to miss a chance to cheer at any football game, let alone if my brothers are playing!! Loosing my voice was totally worth it. :)
Cheer team!!

Karlie, Anna & I.
Red Mango is a must for Sunday afternoons!!

Labor day has always been an official work day in our family with a multitude of projects. This is one of the first days in family history that there isn't a to-do list. We're turning over a new leaf. :)

Is today your work-the-hardest or work-the-least day??